Skinny Jim and the Number 9 Blacktops

Skinny Jim and the Number 9 Blacktops


Skinny Jim and the Number 9 Blacktops are high octane rockabilly! If Chuck Berry and Motorhead had a drag race, this would be it....Hot-Rod Rockabilly at its finest.


Playing what has been dubbed "Hot-Rod Rockabilly," this Illinois trio takes the traditional rockabilly sound and soups it up with a high-octane edge. The Blacktops play more towards the raw rock influences of bands like The Black Crowes, throw in a little throttle, and combine the groove of Chuck Berry and Eddie Cochran to create danceable music without the thinness of pure rockabilly. "Its basically rock-n-roll, with a punk feel to it," says guitarist/vocalist Jim Rotramel. Crediting Dallas Alice's frontman Sean Hopkins with the nickname "Skinny" (its from an Eddie Cochran song), the Number 9 Blacktops take their name from an old country road outside of Hill and Rotramel's hometown of West Frankfort, Illinois. "We'd drag race CR 250s until our knuckles bled," says Rotramel. Rotramel released the freshman album "Hickory-Smoked Rockabilly" three years ago, working with Louisville, Kentucky's Sean Hopkins and Nashville, Tennessee's Ross Sermons. After tracking at Mike Lescilius' Misunderstudio in Murphysboro, Illinois, Rotramel relyed on the mastering skills of Dave Harris to add the finishing touches. "Studio B Mastering in Charlotte is without a doubt the best. Dave's mastered both my Blacktops albums, and my Accelerators stuff flawlessly," proclaims Rotramel. In early 2006, the Blacktops moved from the studio to the live venues. Chicago native Nate Hopman (former frontman of national touring punk band The Rushmores) took over on drums, and America's favorite barber Randy "The Bulldog" Hill stepped up to add slap. In September, 2007, the Blacktops finished up their second album, "Horsepower, Horsepower," produced by Rick Miller of the Yep Roc trashabilly band "Southern Culture on the Skids." The Blacktops tracked at Miller's Kudzu Ranch, and went with Dave Harris at Studio B for the polish. The boys are playing non-stop in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Kentucky to support the new release. "It never gets old," says Rotramel, regarding playing shows. "We are humbled anytime someone comes out to see us. The support for local music never dies, we're all in this together." When he's not fronting the Blacktops, Rotramel can be found at Carbondale, Illinois' Tuff Luck Tattoos (618-549-2034), poking holes in kids for cash. Hill runs the traditional Chop Shop Barber Shop in Marion, Illinois. Stop in and hit him up for a free trim! Make sure and check out Darrell Mankin at Darrell snapped all the black and white photos in our pics section, and is America's finest old-school photographer, hands down. For booking, merch, or just to check out more of The Number 9 Blacktops, go to, or


2007 - "Horsepower, Horsepower!" (Produced by "Southern Culture on the Skids" own Rick Miller!)
2006 - "Live at Hangar 9" (Carbondale, Illinois' most popular music venue!)
2005 - "Hickory-Smoked Rockabilly" (A fresh take on some rockabilly classics!)

Set List

A typical Skinny Jim and the Number 9 Blacktops show ranges from one to three hours. The band can cater to all genres, with shows being between twenty to fifty songs. Older crowds enjoy the laid back covers from the 1950's (Eddie Cochran, Chuck Berry), while a show with a younger crowd gets more of a hard rock edge.